All the Missing Girls

23212667 All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 6/28/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

My thoughts:

Obviously, this synopsis got my attention, because I requested this book even though I hadn’t read the author before. I knew she was a young adult author writing this novel for adults, which doesn’t always work out so well…but it was good here. This story made you think all the way through since it is told in reverse. It starts at Day 15 and works back to Day 1. Since you read it this way, you have to remember what the characters know and don’t know yet all the time, which makes for an interesting read. There are also flashbacks thrown in, which can get quite confusing if you aren’t focusing enough. All that being said, the mystery was quite compelling and wasn’t really predictable.

This book was compared to Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, etc. and I have to say that was a pretty fair comparison in my opinion…not nearly as dark as Gone Girl, but still a good mess-with-your-head book. The author did a good job of making the characters very real, some extremely unlikable (Corinne) and some kind of creepy. I wasn’t majorly into it at first, but at about the 60% point, I couldn’t put it down…good thing I’m off work for the summer and can stay up late reading. I was satisfied with the ending, but it wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to work out. I realize this review is pretty vague, but I don’t want to give away any details.

I would recommend this to my friends and family, but probably won’t buy for my school library.

My rating: 4/5

Modern Lovers

27209486 Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 5/31/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adults’ lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.

Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.

My thoughts:

This is my first book by Emma Straub, but I remember hearing a ton of buzz about her last book, so I was excited to get approved for this one on Netgalley. I’ve been working on reading it over the past few days and really enjoyed the story. Coming from someone who reads mostly YA, I have to be in a “mood” for Adult books. This one would actually be a pretty good crossover for YA, minus some content. I enjoyed this author’s writing style and the stories of all the characters. Everything intertwined well and I didn’t find one story more boring or more interesting than another. This is always a good quality, I hate nothing more than reading a book and just trying to get to a different part of the story. I want to enjoy it all.  I would recommend this one to my friends and those who like contemporary novels/women’s fiction. This is a good, not-too-serious summer read.

My rating: 4/5

The Obsession

The Obsession The Obsession by Nora Roberts

**This review is based on an ARC, release date 4/12/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

My thoughts:

Yes, I know I am late posting this, I have had a lot going on and behind in my reading…yikes! I wanted to give this one a shot, though, because I had heard it was somewhat different than a lot of her other titles. I also thought the synopsis sounded very interesting. This was a good story in general, though I felt it ran a bit long, and I felt like the writing style was pretty well up my alley. I kind of knew through some spoilers who the killer was going to end up being, but that didn’t ruin the fun. I found all the characters fairly likable and enjoyed getting to know them. I did feel like the love story was a little too easy for my taste, I guess I want more drama! Overall, this is a good book and I would recommend to friends and family. Serial killer books are always a nice change from my normal reading.

My rating: 4/5

He Will Be My Ruin

He Will Be My Ruin He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 2/2/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

“A woman who almost had it all . . .
On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?
A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .
Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.
Until he became her ruin.
On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.”

My thoughts:

As always, K.A. Tucker didn’t let me down with this one. She has become one of my all-time favorites since I was introduced to Ten Tiny Breaths when it first came out. I have read every title she has written since. This was a bit of a change for her, but not too much. It was more of a mystery, thriller than some of her others. I was able to read this quickly and it kept me intrigued throughout. I was unsure of who the killer truly was throughout and was still not sure when it was revealed. I liked the flashbacks in the story and they weren’t confusing at all. I also learned some information about things I wouldn’t be interested in, namely antique/art collecting. You know an author is good when they can get you to care about something you otherwise have no interest in. The characters were also well thought out and mostly likeable. I do not purchase the books by this author for my high school library, but I do recommend them to all my friends! Keep up the good writing!

My rating: 5/5 stars

Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

25205422 Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

**This review is based on an ARC provided by Netgalley, release date 8/11/15.

Rachel and Andy meet each other as young children in a hospital waiting room, where she is a patient due to heart problems and he shows up with a broken arm without his mother. He is from Philadelphia and the hospital is in Florida where Rachel lives, so it is unlikely that they will ever see each other again. By chance, they meet again years later as teenagers on a trip to help build homes. They realize they still have a connection and decide to keep in touch, developing a strong relationship even over the distance. By college, they are a couple visiting each other as often as possible, though it is difficult because Andy is often traveling for track meets. Rachel becomes what Andy never thought she would, a stuck-up sorority girl who cares only about her beauty and money, while he is living his dream of training for the Olympics. Though they struggle to keep in touch for the next few years, they ultimately go their separate ways and live their own lives.  Much happens to each of them in this time span and they do end up living in the same city, but never seeing each other. Will they be able to rekindle their romance at some point? Will their separate lives allow for that to even be a possibility?

I try to read all new books by Jennifer Weiner as she is one of my go-to authors for good Women’s Fiction. This is one that I enjoyed more than some of the others. It took place over many years and it was fun to go back and read about their time in the 90s especially. Though they each tell their own story, they are woven together in many, many ways. I found myself both loving and disliking the characters at time, which made it so realistic. Even though it was such a long time span, I never found myself bored or hoping to skip ahead. This is a great read that I will be recommending to friends and family.

My rating: 5/5

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

23522253 Chasing River by K.A. Tucker

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 7/7/15.

I was excited to read this story mostly because of the author, she is one of my favorites, but also because I have really enjoyed the characters in the companion novels to this title. Though they don’t need to be read in order, it is nice to know who she is referring to with other characters and their stories. I also enjoy a book that can teach me something new, but in a way that is fun, which is what this one did. I learned some new pieces of history about Ireland and, specifically, the potato famine.

Amber is the little sister of a character from the other two titles in this series, Burying Water and Becoming Rain (read them if you haven’t already!).  She has always had a wanderlust and has planned her ultimate trip all over the world. One of her first stops is Ireland, where she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and almost dies due to what most would consider as a terrorist attack. She is saved by a man whom she knows nothing out, but recognizes a symbol from his t-shirt on another patron at a local restaurant and ends up tracking him down at his family’s bar.  This is where she meets River (the man who saved her) and becomes quickly involved with him, to her own reluctance. She knows that she is only in Ireland for a short time, but she does have something she needs to check off her travel bucket list that he may be perfect for.  As she falls for River, and his family, she learns pieces of Ireland’s history and some not-so-good (in her opinion) things about his family and their background. She ends up in the middle of a criminal case and doesn’t know what will end up happening. Amber has always been a planner and a follow-the-rules type of girl, so she is stuck trying to figure out what to do. I will not say much more, don’t want to ruin any of the story!

Again, I enjoy a book that teaches me something new without even seeming like I’m “learning”. I have enjoyed this author since the first title I read, Ten Tiny Breaths, and will continue to pick up her books with no hesitation. Her characters are extremely likeable and very real. The titles are a little too “new adult” for my high school library, but I consistently recommend them to friends and have loaned out my copies of her first several books to get them hooked. I can’t wait for the next one!

My rating: 5/5

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

22609317 Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

**This review is based on an ARC provided by Netgalley, release date is 5/12/15.

Though I was impressed with the snarkiness of the main character from the beginning of this book, I have to admit I almost gave up on it not even three chapters in because I just couldn’t get into it much. The chapters are super long, which kind of irritated me, but the story did get much better as it went on. TifAni switches back and forth between her present day life and high school in telling her story. She has transformed herself after a tragedy that occurred her freshman year and has become Ani in her adult life (wouldn’t you?!), a writer for a popular women’s magazine. She is engaged to a wealthy man and living the life she thinks she always wanted. In the first several chapters, you keep hearing about a documentary that she is participating in that is about this horrible thing that happened to her, but you don’t find out what it is for quite a while. When I did get to that part of the book, I was hooked and very tense while reading. If someone had walked into my office during that lunch, I would have probably screamed because I was extremely engrossed. I definitely enjoyed the chapters that were about her younger life more (possibly because I work with high schoolers?) than I did the present day stuff, and I didn’t think she was very likable as an adult.  She seemed very hard to get along with and pretty shallow, but who knows what I would be like if I had lived through something like that. There were some pretty funny lines and quips that come out of her that made me laugh, which is always a good thing in my world. Overall, I would probably recommend if someone asked me about this book, but I don’t know if it is one that would just come to me if someone just asked for something good to read. Make sense? To me, it does! 🙂

My rating: 3/5